Emilia is a thesis project that investigates solutions to mitigate loneliness by supporting elders to connect with their families and friends through more intimate and tangible interactions.
Loneliness is caused by one’s desire of being closer and connected to someone when in reality they are isolated and away from their loved ones. This project studies solutions to support elders to experience this feeling of closeness and connectedness when they are remote and away from someone they care and love.
As part of this thesis, a prototype called Happy Box was designed. Inspired by the subtleness and expressiveness of intimate acts the Happy Box consist of a pair of internet-connected boxes that work as an intimate and exclusive connection between elders and their families. They offer a simple and ambiguous interface where the content exchanged has less relevance than the act of being in touch. With the help of wooden tokens, light patterns can be sent between the two boxes, these patterns have no pre-determined meaning as to encourage elders and their families to interpret them utilizing context and the intimate knowledge that they have of each other. These simple bits light patterns have the capability of supporting the sense of remote awareness and connectedness.